Revathi Veeramani: From Running Barefoot As She Couldn’t Afford Shoes To Qualifying For Olympics
23-year-old Revathi Veeramani will be heading to the Tokyo Olympics very soon. However, her path to earning a place on the Indian national team has not been easy.
Born into poverty, Revathi and her sister lost both of their parents at a young age. They were initially taken in by their maternal grandmother, but due to her struggling to earn money for a single meal, the girls had to stay in a Government Hostel.
Coach Kannan of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu discovered Revathi was a strong runner after he saw her running in school. She would sprint barefoot as she could not afford shoes. Coach Kannan persuaded her grandmother that Revathi had natural talent that was strong enough to be recognised on an international stage.
Revathi’s grandmother was grateful for the coach’s support. “I thank the coach for extending his guidance,” she told The News Minute.
Revathi took part in her first international event at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where she finished fourth. 10 years later she was a double gold medallist at the Junior Nationals in 2016 (in both 100 and 200 meters). This was immediately followed by a silver medal at the Senior Championships, which earned her a place at the Indian National camp in Patiala (where they were training athletes for the olympics). She is now representing India as part of the 4 by 400 metres national relay team. At a team training camp on July 4th she clocked a time of 53.55 seconds in the 400 metres run.
When Revathi is not pursuing her athletic dreams, she works as a ticket inspector on the Indian railway. Now she is hoping for success at the Tokyo Olympics.